Creative Writing Critique

We are often our own worst critics, but can you be objective about looking at your work for constructive feedback.  When you finish a story you should be able to answer the following questions about your work.

  • What is the one-line logline?  This is a single sentence.  This sentence must summarize the entire plot and characterization with the conflict and resolution of the story.  Some writers prefer to leave out the resolution and often ask a question.  You must get your story to one line.
  • What is the three-line logline?   This is the beginning, the middle and the end.
  • What is the one page treatment?  If the one page treatment is not cohesive and exciting, then your story isn’t either.  Learning to write the short versions of you story takes practice.
  • What is the conflict of the story?  Consider if you have all three types of conflict in the story:  man versus man, man versus himself and man versus nature.  Which one is the main conflict?  Is it easily identified?  Does it appear early enough in the story and is it clear to the average viewer?
  • Does the main character have a problem and a revelation?
  • Is there a moral to the story?  Is it a universal moral?
  • What level of persuasion do you employ?  Do you lead the audience to conclusion by implicitly stating or by their assumption?  Which do you want?
  • Can you remove the plot from the story?  If you were to take out all of the story except the plot, would it still be cohesive and have integrity (it would be boring)?
  • What is the tone?  Tone is throughout the entire story, except for change by catalyst and must be in synch with the moral or revelation.  In synch does not mean “the same”, but rather it means that the tone must change only when prompted by catalyst, otherwise the audience will not believe the character.
  • Is the tone correct for the audience? (Kids obviously different than adults and so on.)
  • Is my form and structure proper?  Different formats carry different structure; did you carry you intention with integrity.
  • If there are any storytelling facts or back-story facts, are they correct?
  • Have I prevailed on an emotional level?  Without emotion of some type, the human brain will not attach.
  • Can my audience relate?  This can mean a lot of things, but in the end the audience must have a relationship with the writing or the film.